We all like to see the positive in ourselves, right? Overly optimistic, never admitting to being a victim, not blaming the traffic, alarm clock, world-wide recession for our many tales of woe. And if I asked you if you were in the habit of making excuses, I would hazard a guess your knee jerk reaction would be “Me? No never.”
While I arrogantly thought of myself as a glass-half-full, sky’s-the-limit, love-a-challenge, bring-it-on type of person, after reading Brain Tracy’s book, No Excuses, I realise that I make more excuses than I would like.
This epidemic of blame, self-victimisation, lack of control and aversion to ownership affects me, my team, the country and ultimately the world. Enough excuses, it’s time for me to get unstuck.
No more excuses
Here are 15 lessons I have learnt on my ‘No Excuse’ journey:
- What you fear now, will appear easy when you’re done.
- While it is important to manage your priorities based on value and revenue, when it comes to achieving what you deeply desire, settling for 80% is not enough.
- Take time to pause. Your chance of scoring a goal (on the field and in life) is exponentially improved if you take a moment to pause within before taking the shot.
- Make a list of 100 unsolicited desires (not 80!). Ask: What would my finances/health/relationships/business look like if they were perfect?
- Work one big challenge at a time. From your 100 desires list, write one single desire at the top of a blank sheet of paper.
- List 20 ways in which you can realise your desire.
- Work from the inside out. In business and in life we tend to start with ‘what/how/why’ instead of with ‘why’. People tend to relate to people who are like them and want to do business with those they know and trust. Understanding the ‘why’ is a powerful starting point.
- Strategy is nothing without implementation. Success is not achievable without discipline.
- Most ideas do not realise. Actions do.
- 100% creativity x 0% organisation = 0
- Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
- Do something every single day towards reaching your goal. There is power in momentum.
- Read, listen and learn every day in your area of expertise. Guard against complacency.
- Slow and steady wins the race.
- Do it, or don’t do it. But don’t make excuses.
As I write this I am 11 days into my second personal 150 day ‘no excuse challenge’. My assistant asked me if I thought it was worth waking up at 04h50 every weekday in order to reach my desire (he thinks I am crazy, sometimes I do too!) to which I answered an unequivocal “Yes!”
Reflecting on the past 166 days I can see how much I have moved closer, albeit slowly, towards reaching what I desire. An intimate understanding of my ‘why’ makes the earlier nights and sunrise mornings an easier choice than the alternative of hitting the snooze for another hour of low quality sleep. And if I can do it… so can you!